A new AP story is being printed in just about every paper in the nation this morning about soul food in Chicago, and the news isn’t good. Citing duct tape on vinyl booths, “sagging” buildings, and numerous closings, the article paints a grim picture of our soul food scene. Chicago’s shrinking black population, which declined by 17 percent in the past ten years, is partly blamed, as is an “increasing health consciousness.” The first may definitely be true, but one look at the numerous new openings around town shows that Chicagoans still have a love of the unhealthy. (How else could we eat so many burgers?) But when was the last time you went out for soul food?
We have to admit that our last trip was last year when we went to Izola’s on 79th street for some amazing fried chicken. We promised to return, but kind of forgot, which turned out to be our loss; Izola’s closed earlier this year. It was good to see that Edna’s reopened over the summer as Ruby’s Restaurant, but that seems to be an anomaly.
If you’re interested to see where you can still support soul food in Chicago, this list by the Chicago Reader seems to be up to date.